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Teaching Essentials

Course Descriptions

The course description provides an overview of the anticipated learning and identifies the level of learning addressed in the course. 

The course description is written to orient students to the course. It is learner centred and identifies the scope of the course including selected concepts, principles or topics that students will explore.  

Introductory or Foundational level courses introduce students to concepts and skills for the first time. Subsequent Reinforcing courses build on, reinforce or refine the knowledge and skills gained in pre-requisite foundational courses. Culminating level courses enhance foundational and reinforcing concepts preparing students to integrate and apply acquired learning in workplaces and in professional practice.

Writing Course Descriptions

Develop your course description in one paragraph.

Please use the course learning outcomes as a guide and in three to five sentences describe the scope and level of learning that will occur in this course. Identify key concepts, principles or topics that students will explore in the program along with the level of learning that will take place (Foundational, Reinforcing, or Culminating). 

Identify where this course fits into the program and how it contributes to meeting the program learning outcomes.  Where possible specify how this learning applies to or is used in professional practice. Use statements that describe broad categories of learning and avoid identifying specific technology and teaching strategies that evolve and change frequently.  

The course description will be included on the course outline and displayed on the website. Components that are adjusted each term including delivery methods, teaching strategies and assessments are not included in the course description. Please add delivery methods, teaching strategies and assessments to the appropriate sections on the course outline. 

Please use the following guidelines when writing course descriptions:

  • Use a student centred approach to describe the course.
  • Write in the third person plural and describe what students will learn.    
  • Summarize the course learning outcomes and scope of the course content.
  • Identify the relevance of this course to the program and the level of learning that will occur.
  • Use plain language and words that are simple, common and easy to understand. 
  • Write out the first reference to an acronym then identify the acronym in capital letters within parentheses. The acronym can then be used later in the description, e.g. Early Childhood Educator (ECE).
  • Develop the course description in one paragraph using 80 – 100 words.   

Sample Course Descriptions

COMM-1161 Advertising and Marketing Communications 1 

This course is an introduction to the business of advertising and marketing, including branding, promotion and creative writing. Students will concentrate on producing traditional, “interruption-based” advertising, learning the difference between interruptions (where it’s been) and destinations (where it’s going). The course also provides an introduction to industry regulation and guidelines. (50 words)

CYCP-1022 A Context for Practice with Indigenous Peoples

This course will acquaint Child and Youth Care students with many of the significant issues affecting Indigenous children, youth and families. The theme of historical context and its relationship to cultural competence in child and youth care practice will be highlighted. In addition, the course will identify respectful ways in which Child and Youth Care professionals can incorporate an Indigenous worldview into their care practices with children, youth and families. (70 words)

DRAF-1002 AutoCAD 1

As with many of today’s manufacturing techniques, drafting increasingly relies on computerized methods. It is vital for new technologists to have knowledge of CAD (Computer Assisted Drafting). Students will learn to use AutoCAD as a drafting and design tool. AutoCAD’s basic functions will be both discussed and practiced in a computer lab. Upon successful completion of this course, students will demonstrate the ability to produce plan, elevation and sections views as they are used in industry. The material covered in this course provides the base for AutoCAD 2. (88 words)

LANG-1051 Anishinaabemowin Culture and Language 2

This course will continue to focus on language proficiency utilizing Anishinaabe cultural worldview and teachings as the context and content. The students will expand on their ability to speak, read and write the Anishinaabemowin language at an introductory to intermediate level using the Double Vowel writing system. (47 words)

Course Description Guidelines were approved by Senior Academic Committee June 19, 2020.